News and Blogs

  1. Latest News
  2. Cousin Island News
  3. Blue Economy Seychelles
  4. Green Health Blog

What's On at Nature Seychelles

Conservation Boot Camp

Bootstrap your career in conservation. Whether you want to to break into conservation or bolster your experience and knowledge, join the world's first Conservation Boot Camp where you can gain a much coveted, unique and exclusive experince working in a world renowned and multiple award winning nature reserve...Read more

Find Us On ...

Implementing the SDGs

At Nature Seychelles we are committed to working with government, development partners and donors in implementing relevant actions, in particular, looking at certain goals where we can build on our existing strengths. Read more

Seychelles Wildlife

Natural environment of the Seychelles

Seychelles is a unique environment, which sustains a very special biodiversity. It is special for a number of different reasons. These are the oldest oceanic islands to be found anywhere...

Bird Watching

Seychelles is a paradise for birdwatchers, you can easily see the unique land birds, the important sea bird colonies, and the host of migrants and vagrants. Some sea bird...

Seychelles Black Parrot

Black Parrot or Kato Nwar in Creolee is brown-grey in colour, not truly black. Many bird experts treat it as a local form of a species found in Madagascar and...

Fairy Tern

The Fairy (or white) Tern is a beautiful bird seen on all islands in Seychelles, even islands like Mahe where they are killed by introduced rats, cats and Barn Owls....

Introduced Land Birds

A little over two hundred years ago, there were no humans living permanently in Seychelles. When settlement occurred, people naturally brought with them the animals and plants they needed to...

Native Birds

Although over 190 different species of bird have been seen on or around the central islands of Seychelles (and the number is increasing all the time), many of these are...

Migrant Shore Birds

Shallow seas and estuaries are very rich in invertebrate life. Many birds feed on the worms, crabs and shellfish in these habitats; often, they have long bills for probing sand...

Seychelles Magpie Robin

The most endangered of the endemic birds, Seychelles Magpie Robin or Pi Santez in Creole, came close to extinction in the late twentieth century; in 1970 there were only about...

Seychelles Blue Pigeon

The Seychelles Blue Pigeon or Pizon Olande in Creole, spends much of its life in the canopy of trees and eats the fruits of figs, bwa dir, ylang ylang and...

Seychelles White-eye

The Seychelles White-eye or Zwazo Linet in Creole, is rare and endemic. They may sometimes be seen in gardens and forest over 300m at La Misere, Cascade and a few...

Seychelles Black Paradise Flycatcher

The Seychelles Black Paradise Flycatcher or the Vev in Creole is endemic to Seychelles, you cannot find this bird anywhere else on earth. Although it was once widespread on...

Seychelles Sunbird

The tiny sunbird or Kolibri in Creole, is one of the few endemic species that has thrived since humans arrived in the Seychelles.



  • Stopped near extinctions of birds +

    Down-listing of the critically endangered Seychelles warbler from Critically Endangered to Near Threatened. Other Seychelles birds have also been saved including the Seychelles Magpie Robin, Seychelles Fody, and the Seychelles
  • Restored whole island ecosystems +

    We transformed Cousin Island from a coconut plantation to a thriving vibrant and diverse island ecosystem. Success achieved on Cousin was replicated on other islands with similar conservation activities.
  • Championed climate change solutions +

    Nature Seychelles has risen to the climate change challenge in our region in creative ways to adapt to the inevitable changing of times.
  • Education and Awareness +

    We have been at the forefront of environmental education, particularly with schools and Wildlife clubs
  • Sustainable Tourism +

    We manage the award-winning eco-tourism programme on Cousin Island started in 1970
  • 1
  • 2

Bio-Terror weapon from Viruses in Fruit Bats?

In  October 2002 in an article in this newspaper, I brought readers’  attention to the Nipah and Hendra viruses that are spread by fruit bats to liverstock and eventually to humans. Although there are no known cases of direct transmission from fruit bats to humans and although the viruses have not been identified in Seychelles, a potential danger may exist, even remotely, in a rapidly changing and globalising world.
Among emerging viruses, the Nipah virus is particularly deadly, killing up to 70 percent of the people it infects. That's why Nipah has been declared a potential bioterrorism agent by the National Biodefense Research Agency of the United States.  Now scientists have identified the way the virus infects cells, causing often-fatal encephalitis. This discovery could lead to medications and vaccines to prevent or cure the disease.

This virus, which devastated Malaysian pig farms in 1999, attaches to a cell receptor, a kind of chemical doorway, called Ephrin-B2, two teams of U.S. scientists reported this month.  Ephrin-B2 is found in humans, horses, pigs, bats and other mammals, which explains the wide number of species that can be infected.

The first reported outbreak of Nipah virus occurred in 1998-1999 in Malaysia, sickening 265 people and killing 105. This outbreak which spread from pigs to humans, was contained by culling more than a million pigs. A related virus, Hendra, so far less of a threat to human health, was first identified in 1994 in Australia when it spread from horses to humans. Both were eventually traced to fruit bats.

The reason that the viruses are on the biodefense priority list is because they are fatal and there is potential for misuse. In its natural state, the Nipah virus can be used as a potential bioterrorism agent capable of devastating an entire country's public health and economy, say anti-terrorism specialists.

In Bangladesh, death rates from repeated outbreaks of Nipah over the past four years have risen to 70 percent. This suggests that the virus may be mutating and becoming more lethal.  The more we can learn about  the viruses, the better the world will be prepared for another outbreak or for bio-terror, US agencies have said.

The reason the virus suddenly appeared in humans is due to increased contact between bats and humans. Nipah has jumped from bats to livestock and eventually to humans because the habitats of the bats have been disturbed, as I reported in 2002. There are many viruses in the natural world we know nothing about, and disturbing the environment may lead to their rapid transmission. The simple message is: protect our environment and try and live sensibly and in harmony with other species.

By Nirmal Jivan Shah, published on the People Newspaper, Seychelles, on 21 July  2005

Partners & Awards

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Our History

Since 1998.

Seychelles Nature, Green HealthClimate Change, Biodiversity Conservation & Sustainability Organisation

@CousinIsland Manager


Roche Caiman, Mahe

Contact Us

Centre for Environment & Education

Roche Caiman,

P.O. Box 1310, Mahe, Seychelles

Tel:+ 248 4601100

Fax: + 248 4601102